For the second consecutive year, the Madison Abundant Life/St. Ambrose co-operative eight-player football program will not field a team in 2019.
“Our football program has continued to struggle this past season and because of low turnout, we will not be holding a football season again in 2019,” Abundant Life athletic director Courtney Walker said in an email on Monday.
In 2016, the state top-ranked Challengers made it to the marquee game in the WIAA state eight-player jamboree, beating Prairie Farm in overtime, 40-34, to cap an undefeated season.
The team went 4-5 in 2017 and decided not to field a team last year, again citing low numbers in the program. This year, the Challengers had only five games on their official 2019 schedule before pulling the plug on the season.
The change leaves Wisconsin Heights as the only school in the area competing in eight-player football. Belmont also is playing as an eight-player program this season.
This is the first year that the WIAA will sponsor an official playoff series for eight-player football, with 32 teams (not including Abundant Life) competing in the sport.